"Are you queue barging? Is that what you're doing?"

I was asked that question as I tried to take cuts to get in line for Monica Lewinsky's book signing at Harrod's Department Store in London in 1999. As an entitled American, I had the right to take cuts (queue barging in the UK) as I was an (arrogant) American traveling abroad and it was much more important for me to see her and get her to sign than you English types, am I right?

What do you mean, I have to buy the book, too?

Well the shaming was loud and immediate as I tried to invisibly melt into the mass. Bad idea. It got to the point where a cop-looking-dude was quickly coming over, so I said something flippant about an American beat down 200 years ago or something equally mature and skedaddled with my tail between my legs, sheepishly returning  Monica's overrated page-turning-drivel and asking for my pounds back. I was married at the time. I did as I was told.

Anywho, the point is I wish I'd had some of the following tips on breaking into a line. It would not have mattered a darn bit with snooty Brits, but you might have better luck.

How do you get away with it? Strategy, baby. Here's what the "pros" do:

  1. They spot a gap in the line and hop right in by pretending they thought that was the end.
  2. They start talking with someone who's got a good spot in the line, possibly a friend or maybe even a stranger, and they stay up there in the line with them.
  3. They lie to the other people in line by saying they're going to be late, so those people will let them in.
  4. They just start rapidly apologizing as they cut and hope that's enough.
  5. They go to the front of the line by pretending they just have a quick question for the staff.

Yes, there are actually strategies involved in taking cuts.

There aren't many things in day-to-day life that tick people off more than CUTTING in a line.  But people keep doing it anyway. A new survey found more than one in four people admit to cutting in lines. Care to fess up?

But an interesting note: more than a third of 18-24-year-olds took a “no worries” attitude to someone cutting in front of them compared to only a quarter who would confront the queue jumper.